The following dialog is from the 1967 film, Look Who's Coming to Dinner, starring Sydney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn. It's a story about a young, successful doctor (Sydney Poitier) who falls in love with a white woman. Both characters in the film must contend with their parents inability to accept their choices. I was struck by one particularly poignant scene between Poitier's character and his father, whose mindset so reminds me of all the narcissistic parents out there who use "you owe me" logic to get their adult sons and daughters to fall in line.
I can see EFIL, in particular, in the character of Poitier's father. Does anyone else see their parents in this dialog:
Father: Yeah, I know what you are and what you've made of yourself. But I worked my ass off to get the money to buy you all the chances you had! You know how far I carried that bag in years? Miles. And mowin' lawns in the dark so you wouldn't have to be stokin' furnaces...and could bear down on the books. There were things your mother should have had that she insisted go for you. And I don't mean fancy things. I mean a decent coat. A lousy coat! And you're gonna tell me that means nothin' to you....and you could break your mother's heart?
Poitier: You listen to me. You say you don't want to tell me how to live my life. So what do you think you've been doing? You tell me what rights I've got or haven't got, and what I owe to you for what you've done for me. Let me tell you something. I owe you nothing! If you carried that bag a million miles, you did what you're supposed to do! Because you brought me into this world. And from that day you owed me everything you could ever do for me like I will owe my son if I ever have another. But you don't own me! You can't tell me when or where I'm out of line, or try to get me to live my life according to your rules. You don't even know what I am, Dad, you don't know who I am. You don't know how I feel, what I think. And if I tried to explain it the rest of your life you will never understand.